Josina Reaves Misses Million Dollar Question on “Millionaire”; Wins $25,000 Thumbnail

Josina Reaves Misses Million Dollar Question on “Millionaire”; Wins $25,000

For the second time in American Who Wants to be a Millionaire history, and the first time in daytime Millionaire history, a contestant has gone for $1,000,000 and regretfully lost.  Josina Reaves, a high school English teacher from Brooklyn, New York, climbed to the top of the money tree, facing the million dollar question.  However, she unfortunately gave a wrong answer, leaving with $25,000.  Josina is the first person since 2007 to see a million dollar question on the daytime version of the popular quiz show.  This was also Cedric the Entertainer’s first million dollar question.

Josina played a brilliant and gutsy game.  She was one of the few that managed to carry both Jump the Question lifelines into Round 2.  Josina bravely gambled and answered her $100,000 question correctly.  This meant she could Jump the $250,000 and $500,000 question.  With a bank of $100,000, she faced this million dollar question:

In addition to his career as an astrologer and “prophet,” Nostradamus published a 1555 treatise that included a section on what?
A: Training parrots to talk
B: Cheating at card games
C: Digging graves
D: Making jams and jellies

By reaching Round Two, Josina was guaranteed $25,000.  She did not know the answer. However, she reasoned she would have to gamble $75,000 for the chance to win a million dollars.  To the shock of the audience and host Cedric, Josina guessed C as her final answer.  Unfortunately, the correct answer was D, and Josina left with $25,000.  The last person to beat the game was Nancy Christy in 2003.  Sam Murray won $1,000,000 in a special tournament in 2009.  Check it out below if you missed it earlier (MP4 video).

This episode is why we love Millionaire and, especially, this current Super Mix format.  For the first time since before they switched to the clock, the show seems winnable.  We had a brief glimmer of hope during the clock once or twice, but every season since the show switched to its current random format, it feels like someone can win.  People have come close but just wouldn’t pull the trigger.  Josina did and it made for an episode of television that will be hard to forget.  It was heart pounding, thrilling, and reminded you why Millionaire is the best quiz there is.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait another few years for a million dollar question, and hopefully future contestants see what Josina did and follow her lead.

Beyond a million dollar winner, which we all would love, I don’t know what more you could have asked for her.  If you say, after today, that the clock format was any better than what we had here or any of the other big moments since Super Mix then you’re being obstinate on purpose.

Special mention also needs to go to Cedric who hosted this great.  The dramatic pauses, readings, and tone he gave to the upper levels were fantastic.  He’s doing exactly what we wanted and what we hoped he did.  He’s having fun at the lower level of the game but once we get to the big money, he takes it seriously and gives a great performance.  The small speech he gave after Josina missed, explaining moments like these are why he wanted to host the show, should fill viewers with confidence.  The show is in great hands.

Photo and video courtesy Disney-ABC Television.

Alex Davis

About the Author

has written 3437 articles on BuzzerBlog.

Alex Davis is an award winning writer and producer based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who works out of New York, Los Angeles, and London. Alex is the head writer and editor for BuzzerBlog and is the president and head of development of 5Hole Productions, specializing in unscripted formats for television and internet play.

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20 responses to "Josina Reaves Misses Million Dollar Question on “Millionaire”; Wins $25,000"

  • Rodney Jenkins says:

    I’m glad I avoided that episode yesterday. I really didn’t like the idea of the shuffle format back in 2010.

  • Chris says:

    I do miss the good ol’ days of the fastest finger and the 15 questions to the million but I will give credit to the shuffle format for bringing some life to the game. Ultimately though I believe that what we saw yesterday will be the only way someone will win the million.

    Hats off to Josina taking the risk (in that situation, who wouldn’t) and wished it would have paid off.

  • Richard says:

    I miss the dramatic theme flair when the million dollar question was missed the first time.

    Cedric’s good, but sadly, the bastardized revamp the show got in 2010 remains a turnoff for me.

  • Shaun says:

    This show has jumped the shark. The million will never be won again.

  • John says:

    That was the most anticlimactic loss I’ve ever seen. When Ken Basin lost in primetime in 2009, the music and the lights and the drama made it seem like the walls were crashing down. Yesterday’s show was lame, I felt no compassion for her loss, because they didn’t make it seem like a big deals. Were the two occasions the same? No, Basin lost $475K while Reaves only lost $75K, but it’s still a missed chance at the top prize.

  • David Howell says:

    I’ve often felt that Super Mix is a good show in its own right more than it is a good version of Millionaire.

    I agree with John that the final question moment wasn’t what it could have been with the presentation, but Cedric did a good job.

    A long overdue million-dollar question (six years in stripped syndication without one?!?), a shame it was a miss but a perfectly justifiable gamble even if you didn’t have the faintest idea.

  • SEAN says:

    Unfortunate, but the right move.

  • trent says:

    I thought it was B myself. Wonder why they didn’t use the special $1,000,000 mis cue

  • Nancy Christy says:

    Yep, I’m “that” Nancy Christy. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Josina’s game yesterday. Her personality and gutsy play (plus the fact that she’s a fellow English teacher!) had me cheering for her success.

    This was also my first chance to watch Cedric as host. When I first heard that he had been named to replace Meredith, I was concerned about how well he would be able to place the focus on the contestants. Snap judgment is that he’ll do just fine.

    Here’s hoping for another player to join our very exclusive club. It’s been WAY too long!

  • CarShark says:

    I have to say I am a convert to the Super Mix format. I think it’s led to more chances for big money wins.

  • Abba says:

    It was worth the risk.She was only risking $75,000

  • Crash says:

    If I’m thinking this right this is the only time in the history of the show that the Million Dollar final correct answer was “D”

  • Marlene says:

    I am confused about the wording of the value of the questions. A contestant earns a bank til he gets to the $100,000 question. OK, if he has $42,000 in his bank, they say the next question is work $100,000. How can it be if he loses his $42,000 bank, same thing on up the line. The next question is not worth $250,000, it is worth just $150,000, and so on and so on. Shouldn’t the wording of the value of the question be changed?

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